Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 5.05.2017

It is raining cats and dogs here in DC today.  Here are a few links for your reading enjoyment:

(It’s Great to) Suck at Something, from the New York Times.

Writing Female Characters is Easy by Dan Klein for McSweeney’s.  Also for McSweeney’s:  Kaya York with If People Talked about Other Things the Way they Talk about Gender Identity.

My First Year with the Bullet Journal by Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs. Darcy (I am trying this out and have been for about one week, but so far I have the urge to start all over and do everything perfectly.  Will keep you posted as I settle into this.)

If You’re Not Getting Interviews, Here’s How to Fix your Resume and Cover Letter, from Alison Green at Ask A Manager.  This is a fountain of resources to bookmark for future job searches.

I also really enjoyed this interview with Tasha Eurich, who recently released Insight, a book about finding greater self-awareness.  Adding this book to my reading list because it sounds fascinating.

Okay, that’s all for today.  Have a great weekend!

 

 

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What I’m Into: April 2017

april 2017

Wow.  I can hardly believe that today is May 1, 2017.  This year is flying by.  I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer and sharing a few highlights from the month of April!

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood.

The Handmaid’s Tale was published in 1985 but I had never heard of it until it was recommended to me earlier this year by my friend (and English professor) Katherine, who always gives great book recommendations.  I think she knew that this book was being remade into a television series for HULU and she was looking out for me, trying to keep me culturally relevant.  I was leaving a party at her house, and she had two copies sitting out on the table, and she gave me one copy and another mutual friend the second copy and said IT WAS NECESSARY that we read each this book.  So, a pretty strong recommendation.

[Also, I feel like it is important to clarify that by “party”, I mean six people eating snacks and watching the Super Bowl, not an actual party like young people go to.  Solidly in my 30s now.]

I just finished reading it yesterday morning, and I have SO MANY FEELINGS.  It was so REAL and also so completely INSANE and while I cannot wait to watch the show, I am also a little scared that it may be harder to watch than it was to read.  I highly recommend that you join me on this bandwagon that I did not know I was on.

The Cherry Blossom 5K.

CHERRY BLOSSOM 5K

For the second year in a row, H and I ran in the Cherry Blossom 5K.  Last year was my first-ever race, and this was my second-ever race, with the main difference between the two being that this year I had the flu and did not train.  Like, I did not run a single time in the year 2017 before the race.  (I had been biking though.)  However, the weather was FANTASTIC and it was a perfect day to run, and I finished in only one minute longer than last year’s race time.  I find that pretty impressive even if other people finished twice as fast as I did.  After the race we went here for brunch, which was only mediocre to be honest.

Gold Birks.

Mayari Birks Antique Lace

It is finally sandal weather here in DC and I have been rocking my gold birks every weekend (except for when it is raining).  I purchased these sandals last year before our two-week trip to France because I needed something that would be easy to walk in but still look cute with summer dresses.  I do not think it is an overstatement to say that these shoes saved me on that trip!  We were walking 30,000 to 35,000 steps a day in Paris, Dijon, etc. and these sandals did not let me down.  They are casual and comfortable, but I still feel like they are just a little special.  I also received a compliment from a stranger on them at the grocery store today.  They were a pretty big investment for me, as I’m not generally one to spend a lot on shoes, but I think they were totally worth the price.  (FYI, I usually wear a size 9 but for this sandal I bought the 8-8.5.)

OPI Toucan Do It If You Try.

I have reached the stage in life where I like to have one (and honestly, only one) color of nail polish that I wear all of the time, and that color is: bright coral.  It’s good for my skin tone.  Anything bluish gives me zombie feet, and after a few mishaps trying to be on-trend I just wear coral.  My true favorite is called Can’t Afjord Not To but this Toucan coral is basically the same and I only wear it.  It looks cute with my shiny gold birks.

Delaware.

We have developed a new appreciation for the great state of Delaware this month.  At the beginning of the month, we spent a surprise beach weekend at Bethany Beach in our landlord’s unexpectedly vacant beach house (see dock photo above).  It was still pretty chilly that weekend, so we kept the fire blazing, bundled up in sweaters, drank whiskey and played the train game with friends.  We made these waffles (delicious), walked the beach, ate at this restaurant and it was all-around fabulous.

Then, this past weekend we traveled to Newark, Delaware to attend the University of Delaware’s Agriculture Day 2017.  We participated in scientific research about dairy products and lawn equipment, which earned us enough cash to buy tomato and basil plants, a little handmade pottery, and plenty of UDairy ice cream (I had the 1st State Cobbler).  AND THERE WERE BABY ANIMALS.

BABY ANIMALS

April 2017 was a generally fantastic month!  Unmentioned above, but we also had a lovely Easter, and I hope you did too.  One quick addition:  if you love beer and you love coffee and you haven’t tried the Shiner Birthday Beer cold brew collaboration beer, I highly recommend finding it before it is gone.

Here’s to a fabulous May (ah it’s May Day // The Handmaid’s Tale // What does it mean???)!

Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 10.07.2016

blog photo five things

These weekly posts were perhaps one of my top-five favorite things about blogging.  Here’s a few reads for starting your weekend right:

  1. What, I’m not the only person making salad dressing in empty jam jars?!  Here’s Jenny from Dinner: A Love Story with her favorite salad dressing recipe of late.  I’m really wanting to get my hands on a copy of her new cookbook.
  2. An English professor on why free speech matters and how he implements this in his classroom.  The following in particular caught me, but to be honest nearly every sentence here spoke out to me:  “As every parent learns too late, the young absorb and replicate not merely what we say, but our demeanor, gestures, and conduct, for those express what we value most. We telegraph subliminally more than we imagine. If we behave as if words are to be feared, they surely will be.”
  3. It’s not like we’ve never heard about the importance of work-life balance and stress maintenance before, but I particularly enjoyed this piece by Jonas Koffler for the New York Times: What I Learned From a Stroke at 26: Make Time to Untangle.
  4. We have been watching Luke Cage on Netflix this week and this interview with the show’s creator, Cheo Hodari Coker, was such an interesting read.  According to this piece, Coker’s unofficial tagline for the series was “The world is in need of a bulletproof black man.”
  5. This is a week old but I couldn’t believe what I was reading!  From Ask A Manager (honestly the best blog on acting professionally and not being insane at work):  My Coworker Wants us to Call her Boyfriend “Master”.

Oh, and P.S. I am making this cake this weekend.  Going sprinkle-shopping today!

Hello again.

I used to write a blog.  This blog.  I started it anonymously during my second year of law school, I think.  Maybe my first year, actually.  I can’t really remember when, but I remember that I was having a lot of feelings and needed to write it out.  Anyway, the timeline isn’t that important.  What is important is that looking back, I see a pattern in my creative life:  I have this urge to write, and I follow it, and then I get scared.

Now maybe the urge to write, maybe that is just a distraction.  I doubt this urge a lot, find it quite silly and a little embarrassing.  If I really want to write, then shouldn’t I have some kind of clear idea what to write about?  I struggled in my college creative writing classes because I couldn’t really choose a topic.  I was very critical of my creative self and felt that all of my ideas were stupid and weak.  I was afraid people would think what I wrote was lame.  (I named all of my characters Jess for the entire semester.  My professor wrote on my final portfolio something like You were the smartest person in this room and you could have been the best, if you had tried a little harder.  It was my first B.)

It’s hard for us, I think, to really know the difference between what we are supposed to do, what we want to do, and what we are afraid to do.  I read something this week that reminded me of this feeling – that we sometimes doubt our “callings” because they don’t always feel like we have been told they will.  And sometimes the things that I am most afraid of doing are the things that, once I take the plunge and give it a try, are the things I am most proud of accomplishing.

So anyway, back to this pattern.  I followed the urge.  I started a blog (and it was really terrible, and oh, the graphics – so horrible) and I kept at it, bit by bit.  I was nervous and afraid each time I hit “publish,” and yet I really loved what I was doing.  I had only a handful of readers for years, and then I took on a blogging challenge where you posted each day for an entire month.  It was fun and also terrible, and I wasn’t sure how healthy that experience was for me so I wrote about it.  That post was selected for the front page of wordpress.com.  And then – I had thousands of views in a few days and I was on top of the world.  It was a rush: I had written something that someone important thought was good, and had shared with others, and those other people thought it was good and helpful too.  I was in love with blogging.

Somewhere in there I connected my anonymous blog with my real-life facebook profile.  I was proud and wanted to show my people what I had done, but I was also afraid that “people” would “find out” and think I was “silly” or “over-indulgent.” I felt that writing on the internet would be a source of personal and professional shame for me.  I went through periods of excited writing followed by periods of absolute fear.  (Hey other writers out there – do you feel this way too?)

I didn’t want for my blog to be silly or indulgent or a professional liability or something people would make fun of me for.  But I also think that those fears originate from something I shouldn’t let control my actions.  We shouldn’t have to feel guilty about the things that give us pleasure.  And as a woman, I shouldn’t feel guilty or ashamed that some stereotypically female activities like journaling, blogging, crafting or cooking make me happy.  I get to be a fully integrated person, who is serious professionally and yet still totally me, and I shouldn’t have to feel nervous that if the internet reflects my true personality my professional reputation will suffer.  (I mean, seriously, it’s not like I’m doing anything weird.)

But I do worry.  Just because I think intellectually that a thing should be true doesn’t mean that my secret inside person is fully there, all the time.  I’m still nervous that waking this blog back up, after letting it sleep in maintenance mode for over a year, is the wrong choice.  I am still afraid that my boss or my colleagues would find it and be like Ahahaha you are so silly and ridiculous, look at this blog with purses and makeup and feelings everywhere!

But I miss writing to you.  I want you back.  And I might get scared and go dark again in the future, I can’t promise that I’ll consistently be brave.  But I am here, on October 1, turning my little blog-project back on and saying hello.

Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 6.26.2015

blog photo five things

It’s Friday morning, June 26th, and I’m sitting in my jammies, drinking coffee, and watching the funeral procession for Senator Clementa Pinckney.  And there are so many words, but they all seem so — insufficient.

On Charleston

  1. Karen Walrond on Chookooloonks with Say Something.
  2. AddyeB with On Charleston: I Wish I Had Something Better to Say.
  3. No Quarter, No Sanctuary, No Succor by Jamil Smith for The New Republic.
  4. Austin Channing Brown, with The Only Logical Conclusion.
  5. Osheta Moore with What I Need You to Say in Response to the Shooting in Charleston.

Also big news here in the US, the Supreme Court is speeding toward the end of its calendar, and all eyes are turned to see what will come.  Will it be today?  Monday?  Already, huge cases have been decided this week:

SCOTUS News

  1. Wondering what all is left on the docket?  Here’s Amy Howe from SCOTUSblog with And then there were seven: the remaining cases, in plain English.
  2. For a round-up of links to explain and analyze the Fair Housing decision, click here.
  3. And, there is so much to read about the ACA decision — and so many SCOTUScare jokes!  Ah Scalia! — but here’s one piece if you’re interested in what it means.
  4. Follow the live blog to see what opinions may or may not be released today.
  5. UPDATE!! Marriage equality has become the law of the land. Check here for an In Plain English summary of the case, but also read this piece by Jamil Smith for The New Republic.

And a little joy for your weekend reading:

  1. How to Have a Bad Day, from Alexa Brown for Darling Magazine.
  2. Champagne lover?  Here’s two articles to make you an expert!  Numero UnoNumero Dos.
  3. Feeling Jealous of a Younger Colleague?  (How about — don’t be an ass.)  The comments here made me so happy!  Also, please be nice to each other.
  4. Did you see Joy the Baker’s Summer Bucket List?  Do you have a summer bucket list?  I think I might make one.
  5. And, the 2015 Running of the Interns.  This made me laugh!

Happy weekend, my friends. 

 

 

 

Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 6.14.2015

Better late than never, said kids receiving graduation checks from their older adult cousins (sorry kiddo, it’s coming) and, hopefully, Pink-Briefcase blog readers!

 

blog photo five things

This week was excellent.  We had surprise dinner guests, relatively good weather, and lots of quality time with Winston.  Speaking of Winston, he’s started climbing up the walls more ferociously than normal and chewing on the sofa (not just scratching, chewing).  I think it’s time for a puppy because he clearly needs someone to hide from all day.

This Week’s Top Reads:

  1. A little perspective from a literary giant with Things to Worry About from F. Scott Fitzgerald.  (Also, can we talk about stupid humor here for one second?  Did you guys see that Ted 2 preview where the talking teddy bear is like “Eff Scott Fitzgerald? What did Scott Fitzgerald ever do to you?”  I will hopefully never see that movie but this preview cracked me up!)
  2. Micah J. Murray has been speaking to me this week.  I normally roll my eyes at religious posts or sappy things but really loved this religious post and this sappy love post.  And probably neither of them are exactly what you think.  (Well done, sir.)
  3. TOP READ OF THE WEEK:  My friend Abby Norman with When Your Pants and Your Life Don’t Fit.
  4. Anne Bogel from Modern Mrs. Darcy writing about supporting our friends mourning a loss.
  5. And since I feel like I’ve been in this in-between space for, well, maybe a few years now (growing up is hard!), I really appreciated these words from Jennifer Louden in How to Take Care of Yourself when Everything is Up in the Air.

Oh, and also?  I’m making this for H next weekend and this for the next bridal shower I host.

Did you read anything awesome this week?  Link me up!

Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 6.05.2015

blog photo five things

So, this week was awesome.  Full of adventure, with me spending a few days working in DC, grabbing tacos and donuts with my husband on my first night home in Chicago, Navy Pier fireworks from our sofa and an entire Friday out of the office!  How was your week?  Hopefully fantastic and full of sunshine.

Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week:

  1. From over at Vox (have you noticed Vox is really interesting lately?), I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me by Edward Schlosser.
  2. From Heather Caliri at The Mudroom (you know I’m an editor there, and it’s awesome, right?), I thought I’d do a new friend a favor and not make friends at all.
  3. How Comedians Became Public Intellectuals, by Megan Garber for The Atlantic.
  4. Dan Diamond for Forbes with How Joe Biden Grieved – And Survived – His Family’s Darkest Chapter.  Just, wow.
  5. The Surprising Advice Many People Need to Hear, by one of my long-time favorites Penelope Trunk.

And since it’s been a hot minute since we’ve done this, two extras for you:

Beauty Advice from Cup of Jo’s friend Gemma (I loved this one!), and The 27 Absolute Best Yearbook Quotes from the Class of 2015 from — you guessed it — Buzzfeed.  I can’t remember having to submit yearbook quotes, but it has been about five million years since I was in high school.  So, is this a thing now?  Has it always been a thing?  It seems to be a hilarious, terrible idea.

Have a fantastic weekend!  Happy reading.